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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Family history etiquette

Someone recently emailed me very apologetically saying they weren't sure how to begin their request.  Also recently, someone requested information which I sent with a request to reciprocate which hasn't happened.

Our modern world has lost a lot of etiquette.  On the other hand, there have been time and, certainly, individuals that carry their personal sense of etiquette too far.  So, I thought I'd write a little about my sense of etiquette in family history.

For me, etiquette is both selfish and generous in its bases.  

You know the old saying:  "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Well, if you want something from someone; in this case, family information, and if you assume that person may continue to be a source of information, then you want to treat them with respect and appreciation for what they can provide you. So, you ask politely, "please", and give them the "thank you"; as most of us were taught.

If you have information that others may want, you understand the value of what others may be able to give to you and you value that and give to them, "thank you", what you would want to be given to you.  The golden rule.

If you fail to understand the value of what others give to you, whatever it might be, at some point you will find yourself ignored and I'm not talking just about me.

It's really just a matter of common courtesy that all children used to be taught at a very young age:  Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank you, Excuse me.  Nothing difficult.  

There's no reason not to ask but remember that no is a possible response, so yes merits a thank you.  There's no right way to ask, just ask.

Visit the Beismer page (see top menu) to see a little nugget that I found.

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